Lately, there’s been focus on singers who have been posing nude lately. How do you feel about tapping into your sexuality to attract a wider fan base?
I think with some people, amazing because some of it is real..[bleep] it I’mma do it and love it. But for those who say ‘I might need to do this,” that irritates me. You’re not doing that. Your publicist told you to do that. In five years’ time, you’ll hate yourself. “I love being sexy; I love that stuff. But I like my clothes too. I love keeping my knickers on...that’s my passion. [laughs] I’ve been offered to do a shoot and be half naked and be topless, and I’ve said nope. My mum said for me to be proud of myself and don’t be ashamed to be naked. And she’s right, but nobody is going to tell me to take my bra off. You tell me your idea, why it makes sense and your concept, we can talk. I’m not going to be that girl where you say take your bra off and I say [breathless, higher voice] ‘Oh, okay.’”
If we were listening to an Internet radio station with a channel called “Estelle,” what singers with a similar style from the past, present and future would come up?
From the past, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, those types. For the present, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Kelis might pop up on there. In the future, on my rap side, you might hear Big Sean. I love that guy. You might also hear [indie rapper] Rapsody, and one more, Lauryn Hill. I love these people. These people give me a platform.
Finally, I know this is a tough subject for you, given your past support for musical peer Amy Winehouse, but how do you feel learning that her toxicology reports released [on Tuesday], showed no drugs in her system when she died?
It’s good that she was on the right path, but then that begs the question: then, what the hell happened? What the hell? I don’t understand. One of those days, those doozies, I don’t want one more bad thing to happen. I want some good news.
Estelle will perform on Thursday at the kick-off Wade’s World weekend, beginning at Enclave at 9 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 and $120. More info at dwade3events.com. Event proceeds benefit the Wade’s World youth charity.